Summer Reading Project


Overview

Every summer we have a group reading project. This is a chance for us to continue to grow as a community even though we will be separated by many miles (we say that every summer – but it’s doubly true this year). This summer we’re reading B.L.E.S.S. by Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson. The Fergusons, two brothers who planted a church together, have written a practical guide to sharing your faith without being weird.

How To Participate

If you’re interested, buy the book ($13 from Christianbook or $17 from Amazon) and fill out the form then read along with us! Incoming students as well as alumni are welcome to participate. Filling out the form means that we’ll add you to the discussions that we have about the book, but if you prefer to read on your own in stealth mode, go for it.

 

  Reading target Glen’s commentary
 Friday, June 18

Chapter One: Why Does Sharing The Good News Feel So Bad?
Chapter Two: Could Simply B.L.E.S.S.ing People Really Work?

this book’s message aligns with the heart of our ministry
 Friday, June 25 Chapter Three: Begin With Prayer some simple thoughts on praying for your friends
 Friday, July 2 Chapter Four: Listen it’s not that we don’t know to listen – we just fail to do it
 Friday, July 9 Chapter Five: Eat  
 Friday, July 16 Chapter Six: Serve  
 Friday, July 24 Chapter Seven: Story  
 Friday, July 31 Chapter Eight: Are You Ready To Be a B.L.E.S.S.ing Every Day?
Chapter Nine: A B.L.E.S.S. Strategy For Changing The World
 
  summary thoughts  

Fall quarter classes are slated to begin September 20, 2021.


We’ve recently started archiving our previous summer reading projects for the curious

The 2020 Book: Christianity For Modern Pagans (Pascal’s Pensees)

Every summer we have a group reading project. This is a chance for us to continue to grow as a community even though we will be separated by many miles (we say that every summer – but it’s doubly true this year). This summer we’re reading Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal’s Pensées Edited, Outlined & Explained by Peter Kreeft, an annotated translation of The Pensées by a professor of philosophy.

In his words, “I know no pre-twentieth-century book except the Bible that shoots Christian arrows farther into modern pagan hearts than the Pensées. I have taught ‘Great Books’ classes for twenty years, and every year my students sit silent, even awed, at Pascal more than at any other of the forty great thinkers we cover throughout the history of Western philosophy and theology.”

Stanford’s virtual commencement is Sunday, June 14. We’ll begin reading the following week. There will be about 25 pages of reading per week. Here’s the reading schedule:

  Reading target Glen’s commentary
 Friday, June 19 Preface
Chapter One: Order
Chapter Two: Method
loving our skeptical friends
 Friday, June 26 Chapter Three: Wretchedness
Chapter Four: The Paradox of Greatness and Wretchedness
my favorite Pensee
 Friday, July 3 Chapter Five: Vanity
Chapter Six: Vanity of Human Justice
Pascal was prescient
 Friday, July 10 Chapter Seven: Vanity of Human Reason
Chapter Eight: Vanity of Dogmatism
Chapter Nine: Vanity of the Philosophers
why Christians are so countercultural on sex
 Friday, July 17 Chapter Ten: Alienation
Chapter Eleven: Death
none
 Friday, July 24 Chapter Twelve: Sin, Selfishness, Self-Love on our cultural schism
 Friday, July 31 Chapter Thirteen: Diversion
Chapter Fourteen: Indifference
 
Friday, August 7 Chapter Fifteen: Passionate Truth-Seeking
Chapter Sixteen: Three Levels of Reality
Chapter Seventeen: The Heart
Chapter Eighteen: Faith and Reason
 
 Friday, August 14 Chapter Nineteen: Why God Hides
Chapter Twenty: Reliability of Scripture
 
 Friday, August 21 Chapter Twenty-One: The Jews
Chapter Twenty-Two: Miracles
 
 Friday, August 28 Chapter Twenty-Three: Uniqueness of Christianity
Chapter Twenty-Four: How the Christian Key Fits the Human Lock
 
 Friday, September 4 Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wager  
 Friday, September 11 Chapter Twenty-Six: Christ
Chapter Twenty-Seven: The Body of Christ
Chapter Twenty-Eight: The Experience of Christ
 
  summary thoughts  

 

The 2019 Book: Celebration of Discipline

Every year we do a summer reading project. This is a chance for us to continue to grow as a community even though we will be separated by many miles. This summer we’re reading Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster (Amazon). This book, first published in 1978, has helped millions develop habits to move them closer to Christian maturity.

Here’s the reading schedule.

Commencement is Sunday, June 16 – summer begins. 

Reading target Glen’s commentary
 Friday, June 21 introduction & Chapter 1 – The Spiritual Disciplines: Door to Liberation. Note: we’re saving the preface and foreword for later. kicking off the summer reading project
 Friday, June 28 Chapter Two: Meditation meditating upon Scripture
 Friday, July 5 Chapter Three: Prayer some suggestions from Glen
 Friday, July 12 Chapter Four: Fasting foregoing food for spiritual purposes
 Friday, July 19 Chapter Five: Study and Foreword upping your mental game
 Friday, July 26 Chapter Six: Simplicity not feeling completely at home in Silicon Valley
 Friday, August 2 Chapter Seven: Solitude and Preface social insulation
Friday, August 9 Chapter Eight: Submission spheres of authority
 Friday, August 16 Chapter Nine: Service from “must I?” to “can I?”
 Friday, August 23 Chapter Ten: Confession specificity gives confession power
 Friday, August 30 Chapter Eleven: Worship become undignified
 Friday, September 6 Chapter Twelve: Guidance making decisions
 Friday, September 13 Chapter Thirteen: Celebration and Appendix: The Great Conversation rejoicing in the everyday
  concluding thoughts the shortcomings of trying without training

Classes resume Monday, September 23 and we will resume our weekly on-campus worship services.


The 2018 Books: A C.S. Lewis Assortment

Every year we do a summer reading project. This is a chance for us to continue to grow as a community even though we will be separated by many miles. This summer we’re reading three shorter works by CS Lewis: The Abolition of Man (full text on archive.org), The Four Loves (full text), and The Screwtape Letters (full text). I believe those links are legal – let me know if they are not.

Here’s the reading schedule.

Commencement is Sunday, June 17 – summer begins. 

the reading target Glen’s commentary
 Friday, June 22 The Abolition of Man (49 pages)
Chapter One: Men Without Chests
Chapter Two: The Way
Glen’s commentary: kicking off the summer reading project

 

 

Thoughts on chapters one and two

 Friday, June 29 Chapter Three: The Abolition of Man
Appendix: Illustrations of the Tao
Some choice quotes from the end of The Abolition of Man
 Friday, July 6 The Four Loves (97 pages)
Introduction
Chapter One: Likings and Loves for the Sub-human
Glen’s thoughts on week three’s readings
 Friday, July 13 Chapter Two: Affection In which Glen goes on a slight rant about the limits of therapy.
 Friday, July 20 Chapter Three: Friendship Glen says: Chi Alpha friendships are awesome, although male-female friendships are complicated.
 Friday, July 27 Chapter Four: Eros Glen’s reflections on the absurdity of sex.
 Friday, August 3 Chapter Five: Charity Glen’s comments, including the most famous passage from The Four Loves
 Friday, August 10 The Screwtape Letters (119 pages)
Preface
Letters One Through Five
 
 Friday, August 17 Letters Six Through Twelve  
 Friday, August 24 Letters Thirteen Through Nineteen  
 Friday, August 31 Letters Twenty Through Twenty-Five  
 Friday, September 7 Letters Twenty-Five Through Thirty  
 Friday, September 14 Letter Thirty-One
Screwtape Proposes A Toast
 

Classes resume Monday, September 24 and our first worship services will begin that week.

The 2017 Book: To Change The World

Our book this summer is To Change The World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James Davison Hunter, a Christian who is a sociologist at UVA. This is a thoughtful book about Christianity, politics, and culture.

From the publisher’s summary: “The call to make the world a better place is inherent in the Christian belief and practice. But why have efforts to change the world by Christians so often failed or gone tragically awry? And how might Christians in the 21st century live in ways that have integrity with their traditions and are more truly transformative?”

Two helpful reviews are at Books and Culture and 9Marks.

Special bonus – for the first time ever, our summer reading project is a book that is available online via the Stanford Library.

How To Participate

If you’re interested, fill out the form and read along with us! Incoming students as well as alumni are welcome to read along with us. Filling out the form means that we’ll add you to the discussions that we have about the book, but if you prefer to read on your own in total stealth mode, go for it.

Here’s the reading schedule.

Commencement is Sunday, June 18 – summer begins. 

 Friday, June 23 Essay I Christianity and World-Changing
Chapter One Christian Faith and the Task of World-Changing (5 pages)
Chapter Two Culture: The Common View (15 pages)
 
 Friday, June 30 Chapter Three The Failure of the Common View (16 pages)
Chapter Four An Alternative View of Culture and Cultural Change in Eleven Propositions (16 pages)
 
 Friday, July 7 Chapter Five Evidence in History (35 pages)  
 Friday, July 14 Chapter Six The Cultural Economy of American Christianity (14 pages)
Chapter Seven For and Against the Mandate of Creation (4 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 4
 Friday, July 21 Essay II Rethinking Power
Chapter One The Problem of Power (2 pages)
Chapter Two Power and Politics in American Culture (10 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 5
 Friday, August 28 Chapter Three The Christian Right (29 pages) Glen’s commentary on week 6
 Friday, August 4 Chapter Four The Christian Left (22 pages) Glen’s commentary on week 7
 Friday, August 11 Chapter Five The Neo-Anabaptists (21 pages) Glen’s commentary on week 8
 Friday, August 18 Chapter Six Illusion, Irony, and Tragedy (10 pages)
Chapter Seven Rethinking Power: Theological Reflections (18 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 9
 Friday, August 25 Essay III Toward a New City Commons: Reflections on a Theology of Faithful Presence
Chapter One The Challenge of Faithfulness (15 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 10
 Friday, September 1 Chapter Two Old Cultural Wineskins (14 pages)
Chapter Three The Groundwork for an Alternative Way (13 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 11
 Friday, September 8 Chapter Four Toward a Theology of Faithful Presence (17 pages) Glen’s commentary on week 12
 Friday, September 15 Chapter Five The Burden of Leadership: A Theology of Faithful Presence in Practice (17 pages)
Chapter Six Toward a New City Commons (13 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 13

Classes resume Monday, September 25 and our first worship services will begin that week.